Make your own holiday traditions

One thing I kinda loved about being away from the rest of the family at the holidays (as a military dependent and also as an adult) was the chance to make brand-new holiday traditions.

As a kid, one tradition we had was opening a gift on Christmas Eve. Just one. It was enough to satisfy my sister and I so we weren’t waking up at 5 a.m. to open presents. We also had an advent calendar (which I still have – and kinda freaks me out a little now) that always had chocolate in it.

As an adult (who often had to work on the holiday), I made my day off mine to do with as I pleased. That often meant curling up with a book or movie and ordering pizza. For me, that was the perfect way to not get all depressed and sad about being away from family because it was just another day.

Maybe you crave your childhood traditions. That’s great! See if you can make it your own in a slightly new way. Maybe you always have turkey at Thanksgiving – try a new recipe this year. I love my grandpa’s fudge. For years it was a treat I only got when he came to visit at the holidays. Now I’m learning to make it myself. (It’s not quite the same, but it’s now my tradition.)

Or make a new tradition to give – my aunt loves to bake and our “gift” is always a HUGE box of homemade cookies and bread. There isn’t a single person in our family who doesn’t look forward to finding that ginormous box on their front step. And a friend of mine always makes sure she keeps a day free to help wrap toys for kids at the women’s shelter.

What are your favorite new (or old) traditions?

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